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Self-starter Theodore Vairaktaris has a lot on his plate when it comes to his job – he built his class-leading painting, rendering, access and signage company, Usher Group, from the ground up, and was awarded the 2018 Australian EY Entrepreneur of the Year. But behind closed doors, when he’s home with his wife, Dunja, and kids, Milania (4) and Maximus (3) he’s just like any other family man.

Take us back to the moment you first became a dad. What do you remember?
There were so many emotions that day, Milania was a surviving twin so it was amazing to see her make it through. You really think you know what love is and then you have a little girl and that’s the moment you realise what real love is.

What is your favourite way to bond with your kids?
Actually, we paint together and they’re really, really great painters. We have an entire art room at home where we do arts and crafts together, they must have at least 100 canvas each.

If you could pick one superpower to help you with your daily ‘dad’-ly duties, what would it be and why?
Fly, for sure! They both love superheros and I always tell them I can fly – they’re still at the age where they believe me, too.

When you’re at home, what is your favourite time of the day?
Definitely the early morning wake up. I love it when they wake up in the morning and we all get up together.

What is one thing your kids do that drives you absolutely crazy?
They don’t really drive me crazy to be honest. They’re really great kids!

Do you have any family traditions?
We have lots of family traditions. We do dinner at the in-laws one night a week, we go to the snow and Europe every year – we do lots of family travel actually. We also always eat meals together at the dinner table. We know that a lot of family’s don’t do that anymore but it’s a where we can all hang out and really connect. It’s that bonding time that is so important with no phones, computers or distractions.

Describe a day in your home using a song title?
If you can think of a crazy song name that’s our house.

What skill or trait did you get from your parents that you hope to pass onto your kids?
Painting is a really big one and we are already passing that one down to them. Also, the meaning of family – they taught us how to be a really close family and I think that’s really important. We have a really large family and we are all very, very close. So, it would be great if we can teach our kids to be as close to their cousins as I am with mine.

What lessons do you hope your kids pass onto their own children that they’ve learned from you and your partner?
We try to get them to be creative as they can – all forms of creativity. Biggest thing for me to focus on their individuality.

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